HEINZ embarked on a mission to ensure fresh, tasty food for future generations by partnering with astrobiologists to discover how to grow premium-quality ketchup tomatoes in harsh environmental conditions - such as those found on Mars.
The brand has now unveiled its first bottle of HEINZ Tomato Ketchup Marz Edition, made with tomatoes grown by recreating similar soil, temperature and water conditions on Earth to those found on the Red Planet.
Through a collaboration with a 14-person astrobiology team over nine months at the Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech, HEINZ simulated growing tomatoes on Mars. The team successfully yielded a crop of HEINZ tomatoes from the brand's proprietary tomato seeds, with the exacting qualities that pass the rigorous quality and taste standards to become its iconic ketchup.
Two years ago, HEINZ and its tomato masters set out to successfully launch the first-of-its-kind experiment that has become one of the largest projects of its kind related to Mars ever conducted.
Experts in analysing difficult soil conditions, picking the perfect seeds, and implementing world-leading agricultural techniques played a crucial role in ensuring the unmistakable taste of HEINZ Tomato Ketchup.
Although HEINZ Tomato Ketchup Marz Edition bottles are not available for purchase, a batch of out-of-this-world ketchup was unveiled at Heinz HQ, where the experimental sauce has undergone rigorous quality testing to get the all-important green light to become certified bottles of HEINZ Tomato Ketchup.
“We’re so excited that our team of experts has been able to grow tomatoes in conditions found on another planet and share our creation with the world. From analysing the soil from Martian conditions two years ago to harvesting now, it’s been a journey that’s proved wherever we end up, HEINZ Tomato Ketchup will still be enjoyed for generations to come,” said Cristina Kenz, chief growth officer for Kraft Heinz International Zone.
The team at the Aldrin Space Institute, led by Dr. Andrew Palmer, has submitted the first of three papers for scientific publication that charts the mission.
“Before now, most efforts around discovering ways to grow in Martian-simulated conditions are short term plant growth studies. What this project has done is look at long-term food harvesting. Achieving a crop that is of a quality to become HEINZ Tomato Ketchup was the dream result and we achieved it. And working with the Tomato Masters at HEINZ has allowed us to see what the possibilities are for long term food production beyond Earth,” said Palmer.
In addition to studying how to grow tomatoes in Mars-like conditions, the Kraft Heinz Company continues to invest in its commitments to environmental social governance (ESG) goals including using 100% sustainably sourced Heinz Ketchup tomatoes by 2025.